DBA students reflect on inspirational conference in Prague

DBA students reflect on inspirational conference in Prague

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 “Each of the conference sessions was mind blowing! My way of thinking about change and leadership was completely disrupted”

DBA-Cohort-3-Praag-groep2 325Last week marked another interesting week for Cohort 3 – our DBA International group. The Cohort, comprised of students from the USA, Curacao, The Netherlands, Nigeria and South Africa, arrived in the cold, wintery city of Prague, where they gathered for their third and final international conference. For some of the students the week meant another ‘first’ – their first encounter with snow.

Besides visiting this winter wonderland, the week marked a highlight for the Cohort as it meant that they had made sufficient progress in their DBA journey and could finally present their draft Research Proposals to their fellow students and tutors namely Sláva Kubátová, Hanna Bakker, John McAuley and Tomáš Bujna.

Nigerian student (39), Sophia Wouter, looked forward to presenting her research proposal to the rest of her Cohort. Luckily, it went very well. “I must admit that I was very pleased, but a little bit nervous. The feedback that I received was great and it will help me in my actual research”, said Sophia.

Another student, Rolando J. Alberto (47), Secretary of the Managing Board of ENNIA Caribe Holding on Curacao, said, “I looked forward to this final block of workshops as it was a great opportunity to meet all the students and tutors in person again. In addition to the workshops, we discussed outstanding matters and got additional information regarding our assignments. Furthermore, I have to admit that I really wanted to visit Prague as I have heard great stories about this city and its vast history.”

For Rolando, presenting his Research Proposal to the tutors and fellow students was also a highlight. “I was confident with my research topic. I really liked the way that the presentations were conducted and the valuable feedback which I received from both my fellow students and the tutors. With the feedback I can now complete my Research Proposal in the proper manner.”

Advice from a Pro
As an experienced presenter Rolando has some good advice for future DBA International students presenting their Research Proposals. “When presenting your Research Proposal you have to show passion. You have to believe and show that the topic will add to the existing body of knowledge. Firstly, do not underestimate the amount of work that you have to complete when preparing for your presentation. The presentation is your first step in formalising the research. Secondly, your title has to be short (max 12 words) and catchy. You have to trigger the curiosity of the reader and make the reader want to read your paper. Lastly, be true to yourself and pick a relevant topic that you feel will add to the body of knowledge.”

Another major part of the DBA International programme was the Action Learning sets whereby the Cohort needed to develop their ideas and find solutions to problems related to their research. The Action Learning sets were led by coaches Sláva Kubátová and Tomáš Bujna from TC Business School, a partner institute of BSN. On top of that, John McAuley delivered a very inspiring session on Leadership and Carl van Dyck did the same in his workshop ‘An Era of Change’.

Mind blowing workshops
Rolando was extremely impressed with the workshops. “I have to say that each of these sessions were mind blowing! My way of thinking about change and leadership was completely disrupted. This gave me the opportunity to learn and also gave me a better understanding of things. The innovation sessions were even better. I was challenged to consider the complexity of innovation into my own research, especially during the Action Learning sessions where I had a great learning moment being one of the problem owners.”

Even after successfully presenting their draft Research Proposals Cohort 3 still has a long road ahead of them. Their final Research Proposals will need to be submitted by May 2016, and then the intense, yet satisfying journey of working on their thesis can begin. We wish all our students the best of luck!